PAST SUMMITS

2016 – II. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN AND JUSTICE SUMMIT

The Second International Women and Justice Summit, which was organized jointly by the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, was held in Istanbul in Wow Convention Center from 25th to 26th of November, 2016. At the Summit which was realized with the participation of our Esteemed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, the themes of “Syrian Refugee Women and Their Problems”, and “Women in Peace Processes” were addressed as themes of first priority.

WOMEN AND JUSTICE SUMMIT FINAL DECLARATION

The summit was attended by ministers or deputy ministers from nine countries, and a great number of academicians, researchers, authors, civil society representatives, journalists and volunteers from more than thirty countries.

Following the protocol speeches and session of Ministers made on the first day of the Summit, sessions of the second day were started. In addition to the eight sessions made, two focused teamworks were made in open discussion style in relation to the themes of “The Problem of Syrian Refugee Women”, and “Women in Peace Processes”, which are the two prioritized themes of the Summit. Again, in the foyer area of the Summit, poster presentations in the relevant subject were presented.

In the eight sessions made in the Summit, the following subjects were addressed: Women in Peace Processes; Syrian Refugee Women and Their Problems; Women in Work Life and their Employment Opportunities; Women in Political Life, Civil Society and Decision-Making Mechanisms; Ways of Fight Against Violence and Discrimination Against Women; Cultural Codes and Manhood; Women in Cinema, Television and Social Media; and  Access by Women to Justice and Law.

We consider it appropriate to share with public opinion the following particularities as the general determinations and proposals of the Second International Women and Justice Summit, which lasted for two days:

  1. The first victims of wars, conflicts, terrorist actions are women and children. Women are faced with different multidimensional problems due to wars and conflicts. These problems cover different aspects from migration to poverty, from fragmented family to destitution, from violence and abuse to becoming the target audience of war.
  2. Although they are deeply impacted that much, unfortunately women cannot participate sufficiently in both the decision mechanisms leading to wars and conflicts and in peace processes and peace tables. No meaningful decisions for the benefit of women can come out of the decision mechanisms where women are not efficiently an actively involved. Although a great majority of women are affected by wars, percentage of those women participating in peace processes remains under 10 percent.
  3. In order to prevent wars and conflicts and to live in a more peaceful world, it is necessary to ensure participation of women in all kinds of decision mechanisms at a higher rate and in a more efficient position, from local managements to non-governmental organizations, from national mechanisms to international organizations and institutions. From this point of view, in addition to national players, we are inviting the international players and institutions to display due sensitivity in this respect, United Nations being in the first place.
  4. In order to live in a society and in a world where there is no war and conflict, a great many duties fall to women themselves. Women are not obliged to passively live the consequence designated for them by others. From this point of view, in order to change all kinds of relationship forms in micro and macro level and to make their influence felt in every aspect of life, women must act in a participant consciousness, and they must become more active and more determinant players in this sense.
  5. One of the threats which affect both women and the whole society, comes from terrorist organizations. Terrorist organizations are threatening the whole humanity regardless of religion, language, race, culture and ethnic position, and put their signature under terrifying actions. In this sense, Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which has attempted a bloody insurrection on July 15, 2016 and slaughtered hundreds of civilian people regardless of whether they are women or men, constitutes an important threat not only for Turkey, but also for all the counties where it is active by putting on a mask. We deem it necessary to warn international public opinion in relation to this organization.
  6. Today, Middle East is a geography where war shows its most pitiless face. Syria is the country where mass migration has occurred in the highest rate after the World War Two. In consequence of the war ongoing in Syria, while hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives, millions of families have split apart, and again millions of people have become migrants, refugees and fugitives in other countries.
  7. Turkey is one of the countries where Syrian migrants have taken shelter in highest rates. Turkey is hosting up to four million Syrian migrants. Anti-migrant policy of Europe causes the countries like Turkey, which accept migrants at high numbers, to suffer all the consequences in relation to Syrian migrants. Seventy percent of the migrants taking shelter in the camps in Turkey is composed of women and children.
  8. Thousands of refugees are being faced with death while attempting to cross the seas to take shelter in Europe. In this sense, we are inviting the developed countries, Europe being in the first place, to adopt a more humanitarian attitude towards Syrian and other migrants. Again, we are expecting western media to display due sensitivity and objectivity in order to correctly and healthily inform the western public opinion.
  9. The main factors causing women to remain in second plan in social, political and economic life, are mental stereotypes, judgments and attitudes and behaviors arising from these. While this turns politics, leadership and managing into a man’s work, it causes women to get left behind in these areas. In some cases, women are obliged to make an effort a few times more than men in order to come to the same level with them. Departing from this point of view, it is of great importance to change the mental stereotypes and attitudes which cause women to get left behind in every area of social life. It is of great importance to build the education policies and curricula on this understanding.
  10. Differences of women arising from belief, race, culture and ethnic characteristics are necessary to be considered and perceived not as a means of being marginalized and excluded, but as a richness.  With reference to this, it is of great importance for media to focus on the richness arising from women’s difference instead of imposing a single woman prototype, and to bring this to the forefront. This will at the same time assist societies in understanding each other, and serve to world peace. In this sense, it is of great importance for media to be careful against all kinds of discriminatory and alienating attitudes and policies rising in West, Islamofobia being in the first place, and not to be an instrument to these. Again, exhibition of woman body in the media, social media being in the first place, as a means of abuse, cannot be accepted.
  11. Regulations accepted at international and national level are generally prepared with an approach which stipulates equality of women and men. However, although it differs in implementation from country to country, it is a clear reality that women cannot attain the place they deserve. Again, it is seen that women are faced with various difficulties in getting access to law despite the legal regulations. In order both to put into practice the legal regulations and to ensure access by women to law, it is of great importance to put in place various mechanisms, and support women. By this means, access by women to justice will be ensured, and also a fairer social role distribution will be in question.
  12. Violence and abuse against women continues its existence as a universal problem with its different aspects. The Istanbul Convention which was accepted by the Council of Europe in the year 2011 is a very important opportunity from the viewpoint of preventing all kinds of violence and abuse against women. The countries that have put their signature under this convention are required to perform their obligations under the convention. It is important for women to be in an intense effort in order to put into practice the Istanbul Convention, both in an organized manner and individually, and to take action before governments.

In conclusion, in order to live in a world where wars, conflicts, terrorist actions, forced migrations, violence and exploitations never occur or are minimized, women are required to play a role in all the decision mechanisms in a greater number and in a more effective position. For this, a great deal of duties fall to governments, political parties, local governments, business world, media, non-governmental organizations and women themselves. A society living in peace, and a world which achieved peace is necessary not only for women, but also for the humanity, and even for all living and non-living beings. For this, we are inviting all those who put their signatures under the decisions determining the destiny of our world to think once again with this consciousness.

Respectfully submitted to the information of the public opinion.

2014 – I. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN AND JUSTICE SUMMIT

Women and Justice Summit was realized in Istanbul between 24-25 November 2014 by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies and Women and Democracy Association. The Summit, to which ministers and vice-ministers from nine countries as well as academics, researchers, writers, journalists and non-governmental organization representatives from various countries attended, was commenced with the honoring of the President of the Republic.

During session held at the level of ministers, relevant countries’ policies on the woman, the family and women’s problems were evaluated, and during the other sessions, women’s problems were dealt with and discussed from different perspectives.

Topics discussed by the participants from several countries at the Women and Justice Summit from different perspectives include Women in Politics and Decision Making Mechanisms, Justice and Equality in the Context of Gender, Work Life and Gender, Abuse of Women in the Media, Cultural Codes and Gender as the Reason for Marginalization, Violence against Women, War Victim Immigrant and Refugee Women, and Women Trafficking.

WOMEN AND JUSTICE SUMMIT FINAL DECLARATION

For the concerned topics, below issues have been established as the general tendency of the Women and Justice Summit:

  1. In the relationship between men and women, an approach considering equality for the rights, but justice for the distribution of the social obligations and roles is required. Equality ensured over the values of the dominant groups without considering the differences may result in to the detriment of the disadvantaged groups in some cases. It is a fact that today women do not have equal positions in the politics, decision making mechanisms and economic life with men, despite the policies followed through equality. A fair approach taking the women’s multidimensional victimhood into consideration is of a great importance in this sense.
  2. In various parts of the world, women are behind the men not only in politics and decision making mechanisms, but also participation in the social life. Women’s inability to sufficiently take part in the politics and social life and decision making mechanisms may be due to several social, cultural and political obstacles, limited resources and limited opportunities. In this context, policies to ensure women’s getting their well deserved position in the political and social life and the decision making mechanisms are required.
  3. Despite varying from one society to the other, women encounter with several problems in the business life. Working women have to resist the obligations arising from the traditional roles, as well as their obligations in the public space. This results in women’s getting behind in the business life, particularly when it comes to the upper levels. Problems such as discrimination, mobbing, low status jobs and low wages are some of the significant problems that the working woman encounters with in the business life.
  4. On the basis of the problems experienced by the woman in various parts of the world, there lies their lack of access to educational opportunities. Development of the educational level has direct impacts on the business life, social and political participation, cultural activities and ways of self-realization. In this context, supporting and encouraging policies that stipulate women’s primary, secondary and high education are of great importance.
  5. In several parts of the world, media commodifies and objectifies the woman, by turning the female body into a sexual object. Media presents a standard and ideal type and forces women to aspire this type on one hand, and it turns the woman into a sexual object, by marketing all consumed, marketed objects through the female body on the other.
  6. Similarly, woman’s body is used as a sexual object in the advertising, promotion and marketing of all sectors, commodities and services, and therefore, is commodified.  The perception produced and managed over the woman’s body renders the woman a consumption material and turns it into a sexual object. This means abuse of woman within the spiral of market and consumption.
  7. Women are exposed to discrimination and excluded for several reasons all through the world. Women’s exposure to discrimination and exclusion is merely only due to their gender. Women are also exposed to discrimination and exclusion for several religious, ethnic, class and racial reasons. In some cases, women are oppressed, excluded and unjustly treated by some other women.
  8. Violence is one of the important problem areas that the women face anywhere in the world. Violence against women is a multidimensional problem from psychological pressure, humiliation, sexual abuse and discrimination to abuse, beating and finally death. Women may be exposed to violence both at home and any field of the public space; on the street and at the workplace.
  9. It is meaningful to hold the Justice Summit on November 25th, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day has to be used as an opportunity to raise awareness and consciousness for violence against women. However, it is important not to keep the struggle against violence against women limited to a single day, but to expand it to the entire year. Politicians’, administrators’, decision-makers’, non-governmental organizations’, medias’ and lastly society’s keeping this problem on the agenda and their struggle against it are important.
  10. Acts of war and violence are experienced in several parts of the world, and as a result, many people are deterritorialized and rendered immigrants. The most important victims of war and violence are women and children, for sure. With their children, women become homeless, condemned to live under unhealthy environmental conditions, face health and nutrition problems and become unable to use the required educational and medical facilities. Within this context, it is highly important to draw attention of the international actors and institutions to the situation of over one and a half million Syrian immigrants, who found asylum in Turkey.
  11. Women trafficking and human trafficking account for one of the dramatic dimensions of the violence women are exposed to. This problem also has a global dimension. Women trafficking is a spiral of victimhood that women engage in usually against their own will. Women fall into the hands of human traffickers by being abducted or deceived, and forced to work. It is an ethical requirement to struggle against this problem by the entire society, in addition to the public institutions and organizations.
  12. In today’s world, women continue to be remain behind the men in each and every area of the social life both in Turkey and several parts of the world, despite the equal policies and laws. It is highly important for women to be empowered in the politics, decision-making mechanisms, business life, social life and within the family. It should always be remembered that a powerful woman means a powerful family and therefore, a powerful society.

Consequently, not only the governments, but also political parties, local administrations, business world, media and non-governmental organizations need to assume duties to empower the women and to solve the women’s problems. Justice based steps and approaches are of great importance in the policies to follow for empowering the women and in eliminating the women’s multidimensional victimhood and problems.

Respectfully announced to the public.